Roku, Inc. has confirmed the latest device in its media streaming line-up, the new Roku Express 4K, which delivers compatible streaming content in HD, 4K, and HDR. The launch coincides with the new Roku OS 10, which includes new features like automatic settings.
The Roku Express 4K, which will be available in Canada in May 2021 for an MSRP of $50, boasts a more powerful quad core processor than its predecessor along with dual-band wireless performance and additional storage for quicker channel start times. The Roku OS features a massive selection of free and live TV, a customizable home screen and regular free software updates with new features.
Viewers can watch compatible content in HD, 4K, HDR, HDR10, and HDR10+ and enjoy both dual-band Wi-Fi and microUSB Ethernet compatibility for wired internet connectivity where needed. It comes with everything needed to get going out of the box, including a premium high-speed HDMI cable. Control Roku Express 4K by using voice with Alexa or Google Assistant enabled devices. With AirPlay 2, you can also stream, control and share content directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Roku Express 4K also supports Apple HomeKit for easily and securely controlling Roku devices using Siri or the Home app on Apple devices.
“We are dedicated to providing users the simplest way to stream entertainment to their TV at an affordable price,” says Mark Ely, Vice President, Retail Product Strategy at Roku. “The new Roku Express 4K offers tremendous value as 4K streaming has become a benchmark in technology and entertainment. We believe consumers are going to be impressed with the quality they can get from Roku at this price point.”
Roku OS 10, meanwhile, which has already begun rolling out to Roku devices, including streaming players, audio products, and Roku TV models, will be available in the new Roku Express 4K as well. It introduces a variety of new features designed to help you get to content faster, improve network and input configurations, and enhance performance.
“The Roku OS adds more value and continues to make streaming easier with each free update,” adds Ilya Asnis, Senior Vice President of Roku OS at Roku. “With Roku US 10, we simplify the setup by taking the guesswork out of the more complex network and gaming features by automating them. We are also adding tremendous value by expanding Apple AirPlay and HomeKit support to our full current lineup.”
In addition to select 4K Roku devices, Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will now also be available on HD Roku streaming devices, such as the Roku Express, and select HD Roku TV models. With AirPlay 2, you can stream, control and share favourite content directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to compatible Roku devices, bringing the experience to the big screen. Compatible Roku devices also support HomeKit, which allows you to easily and securely control Roku devices using Siri or the Home app on their Apple devices.
The new automatic network detection feature notifies you of the optimal wireless network band to connect to in your home in order to enjoy the best possible streaming experience. Roku devices will recommend the optimal wireless network during connection setup and when there is a better network connection available in the home, the Roku device will proactively display a prompt recommending that the user connect to that network for an improved experience.
There’s also a new feature for gamers called Automatic Game Console Configuration that will automatically detect select game consoles and configure supported features to optimize the TV’s performance for playing video games. When a supported game console is connected to an HDMI port on a Roku TV, the input tile on the user’s Roku home screen will automatically change to the game console icon for easy identification. Additionally, the Roku TV will detect the capabilities of the game console and automatically enables settings like Game Mode, which offers the lowest latency picture for a more responsive display and optimal gaming experience and enable advanced features to enhance usability and picture quality for game consoles connected via HDMI. Depending on the Roku TV model being used, settings that get automatically configured may include HDR gaming, Auto Low-Latency Mode, Variable Refresh Rate, High Frame Rate, and THX Certified Game Mode.
Roku devices will also automatically detect HDR10+ TV compatibility during setup or users can configure the Display type within the Settings menu. HDR 10+ will be available on the Roku Express 4K.